Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

The third and final video in my exhaustive, three-part analysis of the Zoom H5 portable recorder is a shootout of shotgun microphones. I compared the sound of the separately available SGH-6 shotgun capsule against the Rode NTG-2 and NTG-3 shotgun microphones. To keep things interesting, I also included the Audio-Technica AT4053b hypercardioid microphone and the XYH-5 stereo microphone capsule Continue reading Zoom H5 Shotgun Shootout: SGH-6 vs. Rode NTG-2 vs. NTG-3

Audio Test: Zoom H5 vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

When you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet capable audio recorder, three models will likely show up on your radar: the Zoom H4n, the Tascam DR-40, and the new Zoom H5. All three feature good sounding stereo microphones, dual XLR inputs for external microphones and signals, and, most importantly, entry-level price tags. In addition to how you feel about the layout of their various controls, and the overall vibe of each recorder’s design, it’s important to determine which model sounds best to your ears. This last differentiator is the reason I created this post. Continue reading Audio Test: Zoom H5 vs. Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

Zoom H5 Review + Why It’s Useful in Video Production

There are several budget-friendly audio recorders available that are capable machines for recording sound in video productions, and the Zoom H4n and the Tascam DR-40 stand out as popular favorites. The new Zoom H5 recently arrived on the scene, and I finally had the chance to use it. On paper, I was aware of the new features it offered video people before I ever touched the thing. When I used the H5 for an extended period, I discovered a few more things that make it more attractive for video production, and I found some things that could be improved as well.

For starters, the most obvious thing that sets the Zoom H5 apart from the pack is its interchangeable microphone module port Continue reading Zoom H5 Review + Why It’s Useful in Video Production

First Thoughts on the New Zoom H6

At long last, Zoom has announced the follow up to their popular H4n Handy Recorder, the new H6. Recently, when I shared my opinion on the new Tascam DR-60D, the first thing I looked for was more than two XLR inputs, and unfortunately, I didn’t see them. You can’t see the four inputs on the Zoom H6 either (in the press photos—at least), but they are there. So that’s a good thing.

Continue reading First Thoughts on the New Zoom H6

First Impressions of the Tascam DR-60D

I just found out about the new Tascam DR-60D camera-mountable audio recorder. I read the description and specs thoroughly on Tascam’s website, and I figured I’d share my initial impressions with you. First of all, let me explain exactly what this thing is

Continue reading First Impressions of the Tascam DR-60D

Audio Test: Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

I recently published a post where I carefully explain the differences between the Zoom H4n and the Tascam DR-40, two competitively-priced portable digital recorders that both feature dual XLR inputs.

In this post, I compare the actual performance of these two models by testing the quality of their built-in mics, how well they perform with a phantom-powered external mic (a hyper cardioid Audio-Technica 4053b), and also how they sound when connecting directly to a camera using a Sescom attenuation cable Continue reading Audio Test: Zoom H4n vs. Tascam DR-40

Tascam DR-40 vs. Zoom H4n

If you need a portable digital recorder that features XLR inputs, and you don’t have lots of cash to spend, there are two options that stand out: the Zoom H4n and the Tascam DR-40. I created this post to help you clearly understand the differences between the two, and to share my opinion as to which is the better choice.

Continue reading Tascam DR-40 vs. Zoom H4n

How to Set Audio Levels

People regularly ask me how to adjust the settings on their audio equipment so they can record the best sound on their productions. It’s a perfectly reasonable question, however, I can never supply the answer they want. I can’t instruct them to turn the gain on their audio recorder to 7, and set the camera input level to 3. Why? The variables will often be different, and where these adjustments need to be set will change. There is no short and sweet answer. What’s needed is real instruction, so, instead of authoring a paid eBook on the topic, I’m going to try to spell it all out in this blog post, using language that camera people can easily understand.

Continue reading How to Set Audio Levels

Zoom H1: An Overview of the Controls

The Zoom H1 Handy Recorder has become a popular portable digital recorder for all kinds of people, thanks to its small size, good sounding built-in microphones, and its budget-friendly price. In the following video I open up a new H1 and walk you though the various controls found on the device. I also explain how to adjust the input levels so that the meter bounces around -12dB, and I explain the installation and use of its microSD card. Here’s the video:

If you have any questions about this recorder (or anything about portable digital recorders in general), I encourage you to post a Comment below!

Can’t find a Bag for Your Zoom H4n? Try a Neck Strap!

Canon Metal Neck Strap 1Folks have been on the hunt for a case for the Zoom H4n for a long time, but so far I haven’t found any viable options. I’m not talking about a case that you can store it in, I’m talking about a field case that would allow you to use the recorder as you work.

However, one option is to use an inexpensive neck strap to harness the H4n to your body. This makes it possible to easily access all of the controls, while keeping both of your hands free to operate the boompole or camera. Have you ever watched a video about a neck strap before? No? Well, all of that is about to change!

The strap I ended up buying was the Canon Metal Neck Strap 1. I liked that it had a plastic coating around the metal band. As you can see in the video, it was really easy to attach to the Zoom H4n. Another option is the Olympus Metal Neck Strap. This one doesn’t have the plastic coating, and it’s a few bucks cheaper. Price shouldn’t really be an issue here. Both of these options are super affordable.

I had heard the people were using regular camera straps for their Zoom H4n’s, but when I looked into this I quickly discovered that the average camera strap isn’t compatible.  Continue reading Can’t find a Bag for Your Zoom H4n? Try a Neck Strap!